Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) appeared to tell reporters on Saturday that he had dressed in drag but insisted that he was never a drag queen.
“No, I was not a drag queen in Brazil, guys. I was young and I had fun at a festival. Sue me for having a life,” Santos told reporters at New York’s LaGuardia Airport, according to CNN.
A Brazilian drag performer recently told journalists that Santos, who is gay, performed in Brazil as a drag queen named Kitara. She provided a picture of herself with another person in drag who she said was Santos at a parade in Rio de Janeiro.
In a tweet last week, Santos said the suggestion he was a drag performer was “categorically false.”
However, it appears Santos himself may have confirmed more than a decade ago that he performed in drag as a teenager in Brazil, Politico reported. According to a 2011 Wikipedia entry written by a user named Anthony Devolder ― one of Santos’ aliases ― Devolder started his “stage life at age 17 as [a] gay night club DRAG QUEEN.”
The embattled lawmaker is under multiple federal and local-level investigations as a tally of falsehoods about the background he sold to voters continues to grow. He has admitted to lying about his work experience, heritage and education and is also being probed over alleged campaign finance violations.
Though Republicans in Congress have done little to punish the lawmaker over the lies he told to get elected, appearances as a drag queen could cause a stir within the party, whose members have been targeting drag artists as part of their anti-LGBTQ hate campaign.
Reporters on Saturday also grilled Santos about his claim that his mother was inside the World Trade Center’s south tower during the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Records have shown that she was in Brazil at the time and she died in 2016.
According to CNN, Santos ignored the questions and lashed out at reporters for asking them.